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Canadians Could Face Up To A Year In Prison For Violating Social Distancing Rules

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The government announced that the public is now required to identify themselves to officers if they are caught not practicing social distancing. These social distancing rules in :Ontario,Newfoundland and Labrador,Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia,Manitoba,Nunavut  could result in high fines which could include up to a year in prison. 

On Tuesday, the government granted emergency powers to provincial offences officers, police officers, and First Nation Constables. 

The temporary order will allow authorities to force those violating  Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA) rules to disclose their name, date of birth, and address. Anyone who refuses to show ID will be fined $2000.

Canadians can also be fined $3,000 for “obstructing any person in exercising a power” if they are issued a ticket by provincial offences officer.

However, these aren’t the only rules that have been put in place. According to the news release, residents could also face up to one year in jail if they are caught breaking these new emergency orders. 

“It is essential that measures are in place to allow provincial offences officers to lawfully require an individual to disclose their correct name, date of birth and address in order to protect our communities,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones wrote in a press releaseon Tuesday night.

“By providing provincial offenses officers with this temporary power to obtain identifying information under the EMCPA, they will be able to enforce emergency orders during these extraordinary times,” she added.

New emergency orders that have been put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic include prohibiting gatherings of more than 5 people, closing all non-essential businesses, closing all recreational amenities, and stopping price gouging.

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“It is the responsibility of all Canadians to do their part and respect the emergency orders in place. We are supporting provincial offences officers in their critical work to enforce that responsibility and ensure the safety and well-being of Canadians,” Jones stated.

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